August 09, 2005

Three games you WILL watch on opening weekend.

Junkies like me will watch them all, but here are the three not to miss:

1. Florida State vs. Miami

Has there ever been more uncertainty about this game in the past? The quarterbacks will be completely green after Wyatt Sexton's summer episode. Can you name either running back for either school? What about the wide receivers? The sound I hear of crickets is very reassuring.

The Seminoles (sorry to offend anyone) will be at home, helping their greenhorns, Xavier Lee and Drew Weatherford adapt to the FSU system. Kyle Wright of Miami will have the better defense backing him up as the Canes return all starters to the D. Look for Devin Hester of Miami to make a runback or game-changing play.

Gimme the Canes, 20-17.

2. Notre Dame at Pittsburgh

I hear a ton about this new coach from the NFL who had success and how he will lead a program back to glory. I read about how one team is looking to lock up some recruiting areas to re-create a pipeline back to the school. I read about how the coach is a guy "coming home" to make things right.

Boy, the Pittsburgh Panthers with Dave Wannstedt sure have the locals happy.

Unlike his counterpart Charlie, Dave Wannstedt is creating no talk outside of the three rivers. He has matched Weis in attitude and willingness to recruit, already having 12 signees for 2006, but you wouldn't know it from the national pundits.

The game itself will wreck one team's season and kick start the others. The Irish and their schedule is well documented. Pittsburgh faces Nebraska on the road two weeks later and then seeks to re-conquer the Big East after last year's title. The Panthers also face both Louisville and West Virginia on the road.

The game will feature two new schemes for the squads and the coaches but the players are mostly the same. The Irish look to avenge a 41-38 loss from last year, and I think they will get it.

Notre Dame 24, Pittsburgh 23

3. Boise State at Georgia

Alright, lets get this out of the way. I have a bit of a personal bias on this one. The wife and I will be Between the Hedges for this game. We found tickets online and I hope to have a separate entry about the experience.

However, even before securing tickets, I knew the time for kickoff of this game. Boise State will get their points, fans have to realize that, however, the Georgia line should push the Boise line around all day long. So long as Georgia doesn't sputter or get turnover-happy, they should win. However, it will be fun to watch Boise State AMP it up.

Georgia 38, Boise State 27

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Heavenly time period: College football season until the championship game of March Madness.